Emily Cureton

Assignment Editor / Producer - On Second Thought

Emily Cureton is an assignment editor / producer for "On Second Thought." She’s been with GPB since March 2017. Her background includes producing and hosting public radio, newspaper reporting and studying foreign languages. Emily's lived in New York, Texas, California and Oregon; spent time in Russia, and road-tripped through Mexico and Central America. She might help you finish that crossword puzzle, or get overly competitive during a friendly game of Scrabble. And when she's not enjoying the power of words: she's probably outside, sniffing around and greeting strangers with her best friend, Hank the cow dog. 

The B-52s made it big. And the iconic band from Athens takes the stage in their home state tonight, Sept. 15, at the Atlanta Symphony Hall. We revisit an interview with founding member Kate Pierson.

Hurricane Irma put a lot of lives on hold. But for Jacob Gmitter of Lakeland, Florida, there was one thing that just couldn’t wait. GPB reporter Grant Blankenship brings us the story of a young saxophonist on the road.

The number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the metro Atlanta area tripled between 2000 and 2015. That’s according to a new Harvard study, which finds poverty is largely moving to the many suburbs surrounding the city. We talk about this with Kim Addie, Senior Director of Health for United Way of Atlanta. Michael Rich, a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Emory University, also joins us.

Animal shelters in Georgia are at capacity. As millions fled the storms this week, many pet owners left their furry friends in shelters across the state. We talk about how shelters are accommodating the overcrowding with Tracey Belew, Shelter Manager for the Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare Department.

As Hurricane Irma hit Georgia, hundreds of evacuated horses, goats and cows sheltered at the Georgia National Fairgrounds south of Macon. GPB's Emily Cureton brings us an audio postcard.

Hurricane Irma has made landfall, and is working its way up our state. The remnants of Irma were downgraded to a tropical storm, but that storm remains a major threat. We checked in with National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Nadler and GPB reporter Emily Jones.

Author Greg Iles has sold millions of books. He’s written 15 novels, 12 of which have been New York Times best sellers. His latest novel is “Mississippi Blood” -- the final installment of a trilogy that he began eight years ago. We revisited our conversation with Greg Iles from back in March.

GPB News/Grant Blankenship

Hundreds of thousands of Georgians are without power as rain and wind whips through the state, downing trees and damaging power lines. In Macon, many people are sheltering at facilities managed by the Red Cross and local churches. 

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Middle Georgia is bracing for tropical storm force winds by Monday afternoon. This news put many evacuees staying in RVs back on the road. At a campground outside of Macon, most campers cleared out Sunday. But a few Floridians decided to stay put.

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Hundreds of animals and their humans have evacuated to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricultural Center in Perry, Georgia, ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Horses are welcomed with a free stall, three bags of shavings and access to the arenas. State veterinary regulations are suspended for animals coming from Florida and within the state of Georgia. As of Saturday morning, nearly 200 horses were on site, with at least as many humans tending to them. Barn managers say the facility can hold 350 horses in stalls, but no one will be turned away.

Hurricane Irma is howling towards the Southeast. A state of emergency has been declared for 94 Georgia counties. The hurricane is one of the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic. Joining us to talk about how best to prepare for this mammoth storm is John Knox, Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia.

What if your dog could talk? Georgia Tech researchers have developed a vest that can help service dogs communicate. Melody Jackson leads the initiative, and she’s the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for BioInterface Research. We talk about canine communication with her, and with Greg Berns. He directs the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University, and is author of the new book, “What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience.”

Rachel Parker

A flood devastated Rome, Georgia in 1886. According to local lore the waters rose high enough for a steamboat to float down Broad Street, the town’s main thoroughfare. This event inspired city leaders to elevate the street, and all the buildings along it. Business owners recently opened up their basement doors for people to tour the remains of old Rome. We took the tour, and brought back this audio postcard. 

Barbecue is truly Southern food.  Almost everyone has an opinion on the best way to cook, flavor and serve barbecue. But it’s controversial for another reason. Barbecue has roots in slavery and some popular restaurants have decidedly racist pasts.  We talked about the political side to barbecue with Kathleen Purvis, food writer with the Charlotte Observer. Chuck Reece, Editor for the Bitter Southerner, and Michael Twitty, a food writer and historian, also joined.

Hurricane Harvey displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across the Southeast. Even though the storm has passed, there’s a long road to recovery. Georgia-based MAP International is one of the relief organizations helping the storm’s victims. We check in with the group’s CEO, Steve Stirling.

GPB News/Emily Cureton

In South Georgia’s Wiregrass Country, a plaque in the town of Quitman marks a hanging place. It’s where, in August of 1864, four men were executed for plotting a slave rebellion. Over the next century, mob violence against African-Americans often erupted in South Georgia.

This is where our Senior Editor Don Smith was born and raised. He moved away in 1958. Don recently went back to his hometown to mark the anniversary of the Civil War hanging, and talk with longtime residents about how they remember the county’s history of racial violence. GPB's Emily Cureton reports. 

Ayyyy! Henry Winkler is coming to Georgia this week for the Decatur Book Festival. He’s the co-creator of a popular children’s book series that centers on Hank Zipzer, a young boy with learning difficulties. Henry Winkler joined us to talk about his life and writing.

Regina Bradley, writer and hip-hop scholar, is author of the recently released “Boondock Kollage: New Stories from the Contemporary Black South.” The collection offers 12 short stories chronicling Southern life in the post-civil rights era. Regina joined us earlier this year.

Among the legendary music acts to come out of Athens in the ‘70s was the band Pylon. The group had been a local mainstay until 2009, when guitarist Randall Bewley passed away. But singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay recently revived the band into the newly formed Pylon Reenactment Society. They have a new EP, called “Part Time Punks Session,” coming out this fall. We talk with Vanessa Briscoe Hay and drummer Joe Rowe about the new music.

Southern food has a history as rich as its taste. Whether it's red beans and rice, fried chicken, biscuits or potlikker, the history of Southern food stretches from slave plantations, to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to our own kitchens today. We talk about the origins of our favorite Southern dishes with culinary historian John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He is the author of the new book, “The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South.”

This summer, 27 so-called micronations gathered in Dunwoody, Georgia for MicroCon 2017. A micronation is defined as a small, self-proclaimed entity which claims to be an independent sovereign state, but is not acknowledged as such by any recognized sovereign state, or by any supranational organization. Vice News produced a documentary from the convention, which featured many micronations based within Georgia. We get the inside scoop from Vice Media Video Producer Oliver Noble.

Morris Publishing announced this month it would sell ownership of 11 daily newspapers in the Southeast to Gatehouse Media. The sale includes large local Georgia papers like the Augusta Chronicle, the Athens Banner-Herald, and the Savannah Morning News. We talk about what’s behind the sale with Carolyn Carlson, a Professor of Communications and Media at Kennesaw State University. And Phil Kent, CEO of Insider Advantage, and a former editor at the Augusta Chronicle.

For the first time in over four decades, West Point authorized an updated text on military history in 2014. This one focuses on the tactics and consequences of the Civil War. We revisit a conversation with Colonel Ty Seidule, one of the book’s editors.

About 30 years ago, the “Brotherman” comic series paved the way for today’s black comics and superhero movement. Atlanta-based artist Dawud Anyabwile is the co-creator of Brotherman. We talk with him about a new exhibit in Atlanta chronicling Brotherman’s universe.

It’s been two weeks since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence there renewed conversations about race relations, and have left some searching for answers on how to de-radicalize people. That’s something Shannon Martinez of Athens knows firsthand. She was a skinhead for several years, but managed to leave that life behind her.  We talk with her and Sammy Rangel of Life After Hate, a group that helps people move away from hate and violent extremism.

For centuries, groups in the South have sought to secede from the United States. More than 150 years after the Civil War, groups like the League of the South are pushing again to break from the Union. We talk about how serious we should take calls for secession with Roxanne Donovan, Psychology Professor at Kennesaw State University. And Trey Hood, Political Science Professor at the University of Georgia in Athens.

First, Atlanta has a healthy appetite for improv. This week Dad’s Garage Theater welcomes Scott Adsit. You may know him best as Pete Hornberger on the show “30 Rock.” Scott joined us earlier this week to discuss the art of comedy.

Then, Atlanta-based producer Will Packer’s new movie “Girls Trip” is doing quite well. It cost about $19 million to make, and it’s grossed more than $90 million since opening in theaters last month. We talked with Will Packer last week about making hit movies with diverse casts, and his television project “Black America.”

First, rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend brought together many factions of the white supremacist movement, and put a younger generation of white supremacists in the spotlight. Reporter A.C. Thompson has been tracking hate groups for ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” project. He joins us to talk about his reporting, and what he saw in Virginia. We also talk with University of Maryland psychology professor Arie Kruglanski, who studies the mental processes behind radicalization, de-radicalization, and terrorism.

First, a new report finds chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players. The study adds to a  growing body of knowledge about the connection between contact sports and brain-damaging concussions. We talk with Steve Broglio, Director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

We also talk with former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry, who is working to improve football education with his group, “Kids & Pros.”

When Donald Trump began his campaign in 2015, few thought he would climb to the nation’s highest office. But Jared Yates Sexton realized Trump was onto something. He was one of the first people to attend and report on Trump rallies. Sexton teaches creative writing at Georgia Southern University, and has a new book: “The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore.” He joins us for an hour exploring changes in the American psyche.

First, if you want to see theater in one of its most nerve-racking forms, look no further than actor Colin Mochrie. The comedian is best known for his role on TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and he has a richly deserved reputation for his skill at improvisation. Audiences in Atlanta can see him live Friday, August 11, and tomorrow August 12 at Dad’s Garage. We talk with Colin Mochrie.

First, imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show is on the road this weekend [August 12] in Atlanta. We talk with series creator, Joel Hodgson.

The Savannah Bananas are back in the playoffs this week. This comes after Savannah’s collegiate team broke the league record for attendance, again. We talk with team president, Jared Orton. Then, we hear from some number one fans.

The personal finance site Nerd Wallet says Atlanta is the nation’s best place for African-American-owned businesses. Savannah and Columbus scored high marks as well. We spoke with Cindy Yang from NerdWallet.

First, for years, we’ve seen gorillas come to life on the screen, in everything from “Planet of the Apes,” to “Congo,” and “The Jungle Book.” But these cinematic portrayals aren’t all that accurate. University of Georgia anthropology professor Roberta Salmi is on a mission to change Hollywood’s depiction of gorillas. We talk with her about studying their behavior, and working as a consultant on the new film, “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

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